Tuesday , September 25 2018

KD 20b spending cap in ’18/’19 budget – ‘Kuwait reform budget also expansionary’

Skyline of Kuwait City (Sondos Al-Shatti — KUNA)

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29: The Kuwait Ministry of Finance today announced the government’s proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018/2019. The budget sets the government’s fiscal and economic priority for the coming year and is effective  once approved by the Kuwait National Assembly. The State of Kuwait’s fiscal year starts on April 1 and ends on March 31.

2018/2019 Budget Highlights
Revenue
■ Oil revenue , which comprises 89 percent of this budget’s revenue, is projected to grow to KD 13.3 billion, reflecting an increase of 13.7 percent from 2017/2018’s budget.

■ Non-oil revenue, which comprises 11 percent of this budget revenue, is projected to grow to KD 1.77 billion, refl ecting success of fiscal and collection reforms implemented since 2016.

■ Assumed price of oil: $50

Expenditures

■ Total expenditures are capped at KD 20 billion in compliance with maintaining a ceiling of KD 20 billion or below for every budget until 2021. The ceiling was set by the Cabinet and has been met for the fourth year in-a-row.

■ Capital Expenditures set at a healthy share of 18 percent of total expenditures, with Construction budget increased by 14.7 percent year-on-year.

Fiscal Balance

■ The budget forecasts a post FGF deficit of KD 6.5 billion, an improvement of 18 percent from last year’s budget.

The Kuwait Minister of Finance HE Dr Nayef Al Hajraf said: “This is a reform budget and an expansionary budget at the same time. It is good for reform and good for the economy.

Total expenditures have been capped at KD 20 billion (up only 0.5 percent from last year’s KD 19.9 billion), while including a budgeted spending in industrial capital expenditures of KD 2.9 billion (up 14.7 percent from last year).

“The country is currently instituting a structural fiscal and economic reform program, and control of expenditures is a necessary precondition for these reforms to succeed over time. Yes, the global economic outlook is improving, and the price of oil is rebounding, however that should not and will not steer us away from our path for reform.

In fact, it makes our resolve for reform grow even stronger. “We believe that reform starts with curbing spending, while maintaining a healthy rate of capital expenditures on infrastructure and minimizing the impact of our fiscal reforms on citizens.
“Kuwait is in a unique financial position that enables us to introduce reform gradually, and in a controlled and responsible manner within a legislative and public environment that encourages a lively debate of the issues and the opportunities.”

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